The Danger of Under-Management
| Peter Klein |
As we’ve noted before, the hype about flatter hierarchies, modular organizational architectures, worker-managed teams, and the like tends to obscure the costs of decentralization or, conversely, the benefits of hierarchy. Sure, we can worry along with Bob Sutton about abusive bosses. But what about bosses who exercise too little authority?
WebWorkerDaily is running an open thread on under-management. Notes Anne Zelenka:
Books like The Starfish and The Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations promote the idea that decentralized loosely-managed organizations can be more successful than hierarchical traditionally managed organizations. Starfish organizations, so the claim goes, work mainly via flat and collaborative peer networks, not by the practice of top-down leadership or management. This might make you think that management isn’t necessary in the new world of work and business enabled by the web. Yet even so-called starfish organizations like Wikipedia and Craigslist rely on some sort of governance structure and effective leadership to succeed.